January 31, 2007 The Clipse are two brothers named Thornton from Virginia who in 2002 had a hit single called "Grindin'" that they never managed to follow up. Our music critic Robert Christgau tells us about their travails.
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January 31, 2007 Sloan's "I Understand" possesses all the earmarks of an instant light-rock classic. Starting with a sweet and wide-eyed electric piano, it throws itself headlong into a bopping thump as acoustic guitars undergird sugary, AM-radio-ready lines about the discoveries and promises of innocent, adolescent love.
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January 30, 2007 A review of Wincing the Night Away, the new recording by The Shins. Their song "New Slang" was on the soundtrack to the 2004 Zack Braff movie Garden State.
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January 29, 2007 Though it runs only two and a half minutes, The Apples in Stereo's "Sun Is Out" functions as a charming, modestly shambling mini-epic, complete with discrete movements that culminate in a full-on power-pop blowout. The effect remains infectious and beguiling throughout.
January 29, 2007 The rock band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah released its first record last year on its own label. Major labels came knocking when the band quickly became an Internet darling. The band decided to remain independent and, this week, will release its second record on its own label, Some Loud Thunder.
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January 29, 2007 The diminuitive British rapper Louise Harman, known as Lady Sovereign, is the first foreign female artist signed by Jay Z's Island Def Jam label. Despite her regal title, Lady Sovereign grew up in a public housing project in London, and her rhymes are anything but highbrow.
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January 26, 2007 Jon-Rae Fletcher may be Canada's finest indie-gospel-country-soul songwriter, and his backing band The River — a rotating cast of friends who occasionally include members of a gospel choir — accompanies his charismatic odes to sex, drinking, rock 'n' roll and God.
January 25, 2007 The Horrors' members look like the Cure and sound a bit like The Cramps, so it's no surprise that their music, their message and their clothing are plenty dark. Their self-titled debut EP delivers a 15-minute blast of chaotic garage-punk suitable for seedy clubs and very short Halloween parties.
January 25, 2007 The Bird and the Bee are yet another Los Angeles guy-gal musical duo. But this time there's a little nectar behind the buzz.
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January 24, 2007 The tone of The Twilight Singers' "Live with Me" moves beyond that of a simple lover's plea: Over an ominous slide guitar, washes of electric guitars and a pulsing backbeat, the vibe gets pushed into ever more unnerving territory, thanks to two great singers who know their way around it.
January 23, 2007 Some singles linger in the Top 40 for months — and sometimes, they do so for good reason. Case in point: "Too Little, Too Late" by the teenage pop queen JoJo. For all the song's familiar R&B signifiers, formulaic pop rarely sounds so non-formulaic, nor so fabulous.
January 23, 2007 Wincing the Night Away is the third full-length album of indie popsters, The Shins. The group gained widespread notice for the songs they contributed to the soundtrack of 2004's Garden State.
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The Shins' members take the time to stuff their songs with many discrete, memorable hooks.
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January 22, 2007 The Shins' fine new Wincing the Night Away is built of the same solid stuff that made its predecessors famous: lush pop melodies, rich harmonies, vaguely obtuse lyrics, and sly, sideways hooks. It also features a gorgeous, brightly swooning ringer in "Phantom Limb."
January 19, 2007 White Flight, a.k.a. Justin Roelofs, is all about deconstructing the pop-music form: His esoteric new self-titled album, while showcasing his remarkable instrumental prowess, also sounds largely experimental. Roelofs tinkers with a wide range of sounds, touching on freak folk, psychedelic rock, hip-hop, soul and jazz.
January 18, 2007 It was never quite as popular as the Incredible Bongo Band's "Apache," or even Kool and the Gang's "Jungle Boogie," but as a distinctive mix of Afro-Latin rhythm and Motor City psyche, it's hard to imagine a more impeccably matched creation than Dennis Coffey's "Scorpio."
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